In a new court filing, the judge presiding over Josh Duggar‘s child sex abuse material case outlined his reasoning behind denying the former reality star’s requests to get evidence dismissed ahead of his Nov. 30 trial.
In recent months, his defense team has filed multiple motions regarding the evidence in the case, which were denied at a Sept. 27 hearing.
The defense’s requests included a motion to suppress statements Duggar allegedly made to federal agents during the course of their investigation, a motion to dismiss the case entirely on claims that investigators failed to “preserve potentially exculpatory evidence,” a motion to suppress photographs of Duggar’s hands and feet taken while he was in custody, and a motion to dismiss Duggar’s indictment because of technicalities over who was running the Department of Homeland Security at the time of their investigation.
District Judge Timothy L. Brooks addressed each of the motions and why they were denied in a document filed Wednesday and obtained by PEOPLE.
The first motion was in regards to statements Duggar made to federal agents in November 2019, when they executed a search warrant on the car lot where he worked at the time.
His lawyers argued that what Duggar said to the agents — including allegedly asking, “What is this about? Has somebody been downloading child pornography?” — should be suppressed because he had previously asserted his right to counsel.
The judge, however, wrote that “because Mr. Duggar was never in custody” during the interaction with the agents, his statements would not be suppressed.
The next motion claimed that the photos taken of Duggar’s hands and feet, which show a scar on one of his hands, were a violation of his Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights and said that law enforcement officials should have obtained a warrant before taking them.
Brooks denied this because “there is no legal authority to suggest agents needed a warrant before they could photograph Mr. Duggar’s hands and feet,” he wrote, additionally noting that “Mr. Duggar consented to being photographed.”
The judge said the third motion, which called for Duggar’s indictment to be dismissed, was “frivolous” and had “no legal support.”
Finally, Duggar’s lawyers claimed that in the course of their investigation, federal agents “failed to preserve potentially exculpatory evidence” because they did not perform forensic analyses of electronic devices other than Duggar’s.
“The Court finds that law enforcement’s decision not to forensically search and image certain electronic devices was made pursuant to a good-faith belief that such additional investigative steps were unnecessary,” Brooks wrote, denying the fourth motion.
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Duggar, who prosecutors believe had more than 200 images of children on his computer, is no stranger to controversy. In 2015, news broke that he had allegedly molested five underage girls as a teenager. Two of his sisters, Jill (Duggar) Dillard, now 30, and Jessa (Duggar) Seewald, now 28, later came forward as two of the victims.
Amid his current legal woes, TLC canceled the Duggar family’s reality series, Counting On. In their statement, the network said it felt it was “important to give the Duggar family the opportunity to address their situation privately.”
The show premiered on TLC in 2015 and served as a spinoff series to 19 Kids and Counting, which ran from 2008 to 2015.
If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 connected to a certified crisis counselor.